Dental X-rays help dentists visualize diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam. In addition, X-rays help the dentist find and treat dental problems early in their development, which can potentially save you money, unnecessary discomfort, and maybe even your life.
What problems can Dental X-Rays detect?
In adults, dental X-rays can be used to:
- Show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth
- Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling
- Reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease
- Reveal changes in the bone or in the root canal resulting from infection
- Assist in the preparation of tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other dental procedures
- Reveal an abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth)
- Reveal other developmental abnormalities, such as cysts and some types of tumors
Dental X-rays are not necessary on every visit, but may be taken every couple of years to help the dentist diagnose dental problems.